My Top 1000 Songs #615: Mannequin

[I've been writing up my Top 1000 songs on a daily basis--you can see them all in descending order by hitting the All My Favorite Songs tag.]

Amidst the non-stop barrage of (mostly) pithy yet clever stabs of arty punk rock on 1977's landmark Pink Flag LP, Wire sneak in a winningly catchy pop track. "Mannequin" sports your basic Who/Kinks 3-chord power pop motif and la-la-las and and sing-along harmonies, paired with an admittedly nasty dis track--a bitter takedown of a model, perhaps, or maybe, more generously, a dismissal of lookism. "You're a waste of space, no natural grace. You're so bloody thin, you don't even begin. To interest me, not even curiosity."

Heard in isolation, it's mostly just a rock-solid left-of-center near-radio-hit, probably not Top 1000-worthy. But in the context of Pink Flag it takes on added heft, the traditional pop song just another convention to be toyed with and reshaped, the band almost mockingly showing that crafting a perfect pop song is no tougher than tossing off a 30-seconf furious punk rock number or a noisy experimental piece. It begins a through-line they'd follow on the next couple albums with (the previously noted) "Outdoor Miner" and "Map Ref. 41°N 93°W."

One of those songs every band feels obligated to cover at some point. Here are just a few:


The Feelies:
Carter USM: